Nickel on a carry piece

Nickel on a carry piece

This is a discussion on Nickel on a carry piece within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings, I like using the 3" k-frames as a carry piece, and was looking to pick up another one. I've come across one with a ...

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Thread: Nickel on a carry piece

  1. #1
    Member Array pmaenner's Avatar
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    Nickel on a carry piece

    Greetings,

    I like using the 3" k-frames as a carry piece, and was looking to pick up another one. I've come across one with a nickel finish and was wondering how feasible a carry piece with a nickel finish is. I've heard that nickel offers better protection against rust, but will the finish stand up to daily carry? The plating is relatively new, its a model 13-3, and the finish is in 99% condition.
    Also, how does engraving work with nickel? I like to add a little personal flair to me piece (nothing extreme, usually a slogan on the barrel or my name or slogan on the backstrap) I'm guessing I would have to get it re-nickled if I did anything, is that correct? Thanks for your time!

    Sincerely,
    Peter Maenner


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    Member Array Jungle Work's Avatar
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    My youngest daughter has a Smith Model 13 with a 3 inch barrel and the finish is nickle. She's been carrying it for about 12 years now and it looks new. She carries it in a soft lether purse made for CCW with two halves. She's an ER Nurse in a major truma center and has come to trust her fellow man/woman about as much as her mother (another long time flight nurse who has more time in a Truma Center ER than most have in their underware) and I.

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    I would say yes - engraving will necessitate re-plating as it would go thru the existing plating.

    Be aware too - IIRC Hoppes #9 and maybe even some other chems can make the plating lift - someone else may remember. i have nothing in nickel myself - bit of a S&W blue fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    I would say yes - engraving will necessitate re-plating as it would go thru the existing plating.

    Be aware too - IIRC Hoppes #9 and maybe even some other chems can make the plating lift - someone else may remember. i have nothing in nickel myself - bit of a S&W blue fan
    Don't know about Hoppes #9, but I do know that if any rust gets started under the plating it gets real ugly. I have a nickel plated .32 that belonged to my Grandfather. Because of corrosion that got under the plating while in my Mothers care for years it's pretty much a show piece.
    Rick

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    It Depends On What Type Of Nickel It Is

    There are two types of Nickel for firearms.
    One is the older type of Electro Plated Nickel which was done by electro deposition of Nickel metal over a base of copper plating or sometimes directly on the steel (very poor adhesion).
    That is also commonly called Bright Decorative Nickel.

    All of the older pistols that you see where the Nickel metal is all peeled & flaking off is decorative Nickel which was never a really great finish for firearms though it looked real nice when first applied.
    It just did not have the adhesion strength to handle normal firearm abuse.
    It is a fairly easy reverse plating and chemical process to strip it off but, the steel is sometimes severely pitted beneath the coating in locations where the plating has peeled loose or chipped away.

    The newer form of Nickel is Electroless Nickel Plating which is an entirely different process where the Nickel Metal is deposited in a heated, swirling acidic super saturated Nickel bath.
    It forms a perfect molecular bond to the substrate and (if applied correctly) will never peel or chip away and it is extremely tough stuff. It is IDEAL for firearms and is OFTEN put on as a base coat and then flashed with Hard Chrome.
    It gets put directly on the base metal steel with no other pre-plating necessary....unless being plated on Aluminum.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    yep it would be fine for EDC

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    My nickeled S&W 19 is over 25 years old, has been carried quite a bit and still looks very good. Go ahead and carry it.

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    I should also have been more clear. There is no reason not to carry it.
    You'll probably run into problems engraving it.

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    Member Array pmaenner's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    Thanks for all of the information! How does one tell if it is the older or newer type of nickel? Or when did they begin using the newer type of nickel? Being a model 13-3, it's birthdate is sometime after the early eighties. As far as the engraving goes, since the finish is pristine, I would probably get some simple engraving done on the grips. I appreciate your help, take care!


    Sincerely,
    Peter Maenner

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    The S&W Model 13-3 was manufactured between 1982 & 1988. The nickel finish would be of the "older" type described by QKShooter, bright & shiny, which was the standard nickel finish used by S&W during those years.

    Electroless nickel plating has a brushed, matte appearance, not used on the Model 13.


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    In my opinion Electroless Nickel is near bout an ideal firearm finish. It's almost as hard as Chrome and is not micro-cracked like Chrome. There are no Hydrogen Embrittlement problems with E N. It does not chip or peel as it's actually bonded into the base metal. It wears like iron. It's fantastic stuff.
    Armoly - Metaloy and many others are actually Electroless Nickel.
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    Electroless Nickel

    I am a fan of the electroless nickel finish on a handgun, and believe that it holds up quite well to normal use. I have two older guns with the factory electroless nickel finish, a Colt Series 70 Gold Cup .45 and a Sig P226 9mm. The Colt is about 30 years old and does not have a scratch or blemish on the finish, and the Sig is about 15 years old and almost as good. I have holstered and carried the Sig, and shoot it frequently. The Colt is a safe queen.

    Nickel has a different appearance than stainless or hard chrome, with more of a "yellow" tint to the silver color.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    There are two types of Nickel for firearms.
    One is the older type of Electro Plated Nickel which was done by electro deposition of Nickel metal .
    That's what was done to my Grandfathers!

    It is a fairly easy reverse plating and chemical process to strip it off but, the steel is sometimes severely pitted beneath the coating in locations where the plating has peeled loose or chipped away.
    I actually knew about the process, and considered it at one time, but looking at the pitting and the multiple locations, I decided to just keep it "as is".
    Rick

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    Member Array pmaenner's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    Thanks for the photos, I can see the difference now. Take care!

    Sincerely,
    Peter Maenner

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